Specials within the Middle Division
As you saw last month, Marburn’s Lower Division students develop a firm foundation of arts, technology, and wellness skills through our weekly rotations of specials classes and our after-school programs. Students in the Middle Division have the opportunity to build on those foundational skills through short, in-depth explorations in a wide variety of genres and contexts. In 6th grade, students must take one class each of music, drama, visual art, technology, physical education, and a communications class we call PASS (power skills for students). In 7th and 8th grades, students have a bit more flexibility to focus on particular interests. They are required to select one class each from performing arts, visual arts, and PE. In either 7th or 8th grade, students must take Brainology, a unique course that blends online interactive lessons with class discussion and hands-on explorations to help students learn how they can take control of their own learning.
Middle Division is a time for exploring affinities and identifying talents. Each Middle Division specials class runs about 5 weeks and is designed to give students a taste of a specific application of the broader discipline. For example, in music this year, students can choose from introductory classes in choral, percussion, piano, guitar, or songwriting. Visual arts offers courses ranging from a cultural study of Japanese art forms to printmaking and design. Improvisational acting, programming Arduino microcontrollers, personal fitness, and storytelling through role-playing games are but a few of the many theater arts options students can choose from.
In after-school activities, Middle Division students can choose to participate in team sports such as volleyball and basketball, join the ski club, or participate in the spring musical.
Author: Leslie Buford, Language Specialist, and Specials Team Leader